The 'Gardnerian' Book of Shadows

Autumn Equinox

The altar should be decorated with symbols of autumn, pine cones, oak sprigs, acorns, or ears of corn, and should have fire or burning incense on it as usual. After usual purification, the people stand round, men and women alternately. Magus at west of altar in God position.

High Priestess stands at east of altar, facing him, and reads the incantation.

"Farewell, O Sun, ever returning light. The hidden god, who ever yet remains. He departs to the land of youth, through the gates of death, to dwell enthroned, the judge of gods and man. The horned leader of the hosts of air. Yet, even as stand unseen about the circle the forms of the Mighty Lords of the Outer Spaces,. So dwelleth he, 'the lord within ourselves'. So dwelleth he within the secret seed, the seed of new reaped grain, the seed of flesh, hidden in the earth, the marvellous seed of the stars.

'In him is life, and life is the light of men [John 1:4],' that which was never born and never dies. Therefore the Wicca weep not, but rejoice."

The High Priestess goes to the Magus with a kiss. He lays aside Athame and scourge, and kisses her. The High Priestess hands him her wand, which should be Phallic, or a branch tipped with a pinecone, Or a riding pole, or a broomstick (anciently the thyrsus). They lead the dance, she with a systrum or rattle, he with wand, the people falling in behind them, dancing three times round the altar. Then the candle game is played.

Cakes and wine.

Great Rite if possible.

Dances and games.